The old saying goes that all good things must come to an end, and today that hold true for MLS Fantasy Manager.
Several MLS clubs have already secured a spot in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs, but don’t’ expect them to take a break today because there is still a lot to play for: seeding, playoff byes and the Supporters' Shield.
So now is the time to take all that money you earned during the course of the year and splurge on some of the best players in the game. Here’s my list on who to target:
Best Odds: After reviewing all of the matchups, I believe Portland’s Adam Kwarasey ($6.0) has the best chance for earning a clean sheet. Unlike most 'keepers, Kwarasey has two big advantages: (1) his league-leading 13 shutouts; and (2) Colorado’s poor road goal record which currently stands at third worst. If the Timbers can get their offense to work without Valeri, they are in a great position to secure one of the last playoff spots in the West.
Budget Pick: If you want to maximize the money in your offense, then FC Dallas netminder Jesse Gonzalez (DAL $4.4) is the ideal to end your season with. Over their 16 home games, Dallas has only allowed 14 goals which makes them the 6th-best home defense in the league. Additionally, Gonzalez has kept a clean sheet in his last three games and will be looking for one more as Dallas makes its move for the Supporters' Shield.
Holding the Line: Even after a surprising win against SKC, I don’t think lightning will strike twice for the Rapids, so it should be no surprise to see Portland's Jorge Villafana (POR $6.5) on my list. His point production has been excellent over his last two games and it comes without the aid of high CBI numbers. Villafana is also the cheapest way into the beast home defense of the round.
Finally Home: After serving a suspension and international duty, Matt Miazga (NY $6.0) is finally back and available for the Red Bulls' match against Chicago. Miazga has shown that he’s clearly one of the best fantasy center backs in the game, and Chicago could provide an easier game to help him warm up for a potential MLS Cup run.
Man of the Year: With only one game left to secure the Audi Golden Boot and the chance to earn a Knockout Round bye, Sebastian Giovinco (TOR $13.6) has a lot on the line on Sunday and that’s sure to bring out his best. His recent goalscoring form bodes well for a potential 23rd goal of the season.
Low Ownership: If you want to shake up your roster, then consider going with Giovani Dos Santos (LA $10.5). All of LA’s starters sat out their recent CONCACAF Champions League match so we know they are going to throw everything at SKC on Sunday to avoid playing a Knockout Round match. Dos Santos has been the Galaxy's most promising midfielder over LA’s past few games.
Shield Quest: While the Red Bulls have already secured the No. 1 spot in the East, they still have to fight if they want to win the Supporters' Shield. Many managers have relied Sacha Kljestan ($10.7) for most of this season, and there is no reason to stop now. He has scored two goals and earned two assists over his last five games which makes him the most reliable option in the Red Bulls' attack.
Rookie of the Year: After struggling to find a striker at the start of the year, Orlando fans were relieved to see Cyle Larin ($6.2) step up and become the player they needed. Orlando has a lot to play for today as they are clinging to a slim chance to make the playoffs. Larin’s recent six goals in three games is the reason the Lions are in this position, so they are sure to look to him against Philidelphia.
Canadian Battle: If you are looking for a big-name forward to invest in this round, then go with Didier Drogba (MTL $10.8). He has scored nine goals for the Impact so far and only two of those have come on the road. Combine that with the fact that Toronto FC having one of the worst away defensive records, and you have a recipe for goals.
Final Differential: If taking a risk is more your style, then Fanendo Adi (POR $9.9) is your man. Adi has struggled with consistency through the season, but after scoring five goals over the last four games he seems to have hit a run of form just in time to help secure a playoff spot for the Timbers.